The Election After the Elections, How Liberty Took Hold in the NH State House
It's true that the 2010 State House election results were the best ever for liberty candidates in New Hampshire. Around 14 Free State Project participants were elected. Dozens of libertarians were elected. Almost everyone the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance endorsed won. However, it is also clear that not all of the 298 GOPers (to 102 Dems) that control the NH State House are pro-liberty the vast majority of the time. Even though the GOP is far better in NH than almost any other state, there are still problems.
The State Reps voted for Speaker of the House. It was a close race against a typical GOPer with a lot of experience and a generally pro-liberty GOPer that hangs out with the NHLA and helped co-chair the House Republican Alliance, the organization of NH State GOP Reps that are fiscally libertarian/conservative and are generally socially conservative. Bill O'Brien (A- rating by the NHLA), the HRA co-chair, became NH Speaker of the House by less than 10 votes. Normally, the Speaker of the House picks the Majority Leader. However, 2 of the 3 top people that wanted to be Majority Leader were highly pro-liberty and O'Brien decided to let the State Reps vote on it. D.J. Bettencourt (B+ rating by the NHLA) the most pro-liberty person running for Majority Leader, won the election.
Other people in the NH State House leadership include:
Gene Chandler (B+ rating by the NHLA)
Alfred Baldasaro (A- rating by the NHLA)
Jennifer Coffey (A rating by the NHLA)
Paul Ingbretson (A- rating by the NHLA)
Pamela Tucker (B+ rating by the NHLA)
This is the most pro-liberty State House leadership in the modern history of NH. I know it may be hard to understand this so I'll use the US Senate as an example.
Imagine if Jim DeMint was in charge of the US Senate. Rand Paul was #3 and Tom Coburn was #4. That's what just happened in NH. And this wasn't a coup or anything as the majority of the State Reps in NH voted these guys to be their leadership. I cannot promise what will happen in NH over the next two years but I'm sure it will be more interesting than what happens in the state legislatures of every other state combined.
Some NH State Reps decided that they wanted to create a group that is even more pro-liberty than the House Republican Alliance so they created the Natural Rights Caucus. From the website, "The Natural Rights Caucus was founded last week by Representatives-elect Seth Cohn (Canterbury), JR Hoell (Dunbarton), George Lambert (Litchfield), Andrew J. Manuse (Derry), Daniel Tamburello (Londonderry) and Mark Warden (Goffstown). Former Rep. Don Gorman will be an ex-officio member of the caucus who will serve as its legislative counselor." These are libertarians and heck, Don Gorman is even one of the best know Libertarian Party members in New England. You may remember him. He is the Libertarian that was a state rep in NH when he lead the Libertarian Caucus in the NH House in the 1990s.